Week 5: Discovering Our True Self Identity

“[W]ithout any identifications [with your body, mind, culture, history, accomplishments, bank account, etc], who are you? Have you ever thought about it? When you really understand that, you will see we are all the same.”

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Sutra (Thread) or Lesson 4: Vrtti Sarupyam Itaratra

Vrtti: modification/distortion | Sarupyam: assumes form, identification | Itaratra: at other times

It is now a proven fact that everything that ever existed and will ever exist, came from the singular event of the Big Bang.

Every atom, element, rock, molecule, lifeform (including us), and so forth, was literally created from the same explosion of potential that brought everything into existence, and it is for this reason that we can say without a shadow of a doubt that we are all one and the same, made up from the same basic elements that continue to be recycled into new forms and expand forward through space and time.

“[But B]ehind the different forms of energy is one unchanging consciousness or spirit or self.”

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Yoga’s aim is to come to a personal awareness of this truth so that we can live our lives in honor of it. Science has provided us with the confirmation that we needed to verify this statement, but our work in Yoga still asks us to look beyond our different sub/smaller identities of body, mind, culture, history, accomplishments, bank account, etc to connect with our core truth so that we can then choose to live “happy and harmonious lives” (The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali) that fully recognize this reality. And the teachings of this integrated way of life, further recognizes that it is only when we connect to this understanding of our reality that we can truly “love our neighbors as ourself” and work to create lives and worlds in honor of all creation.

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The Eightfold Path Of Yoga-Part 3: Limbs Five And Six | Pratyahara And Dharana

The Context of Your Reality Within Your Primary Locus Of Control

Freedom from the external pulls of the world is the only way to truly obtain liberation from suffering.

This is what limbs five and six of the Eightfold Path remind us of.

Liberation from your subconscious and unconscious impulses and attractions, and mastery over the power and function of your mind will allow you to gain greater mastery over your primary locus of control so that you can use it’s power for the specific aim of gaining greater connection to/with your higher Self/expression.

For some, this mastery may mean complete freedom from desire through complete elimination (like in most branches of Yoga), while for others, this freedom may mean complete control over desires as with the Tantric Path, for example. Regardless of the way one walks the path, however, it is the pull of desires, or rather being pulled/led/guided by them that we must gain control over in order to obtain the freedom that is required to create space within ourselves to fully embody our true nature. When we are not driven by lust, gluttony, greed, jealously, the need for attention, and so forth we are free to run our minds and senses as opposed to being run by the needs and illusions of the external world.

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Week 4: Looking Into The Mirror Of Your Projected Mind

“[T]he Seer, or true you, reflects in the mind which is your mirror. Normally, you can’t see the true Self because your mind is colored [or distorted]. [So, instead of seeing the truth,] if the the mind is dirty, you say “I am dirty”…[and] if it is all polished and shining, [you falsely state] “I am beautiful.”

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Regardless of what you see when you peer into it, however, if the mirror of your mind is distorted, you are not seeing clearly or correctly and whatever you perceive is simply an illusion that does not accurately reflect the true form or nature of what you are attempting to observe.

Sutra (Thread) or Lesson 3: Tada Drastuh Svarupe’vasthanam

Tada: then | Drastuh: the Seer | Sva: own | rupe: in (itself) color/nature | Avasthanam (Vasthanam): abides

Yoga’s aim is to help humans clear up the delusions and distortions that keep them from seeing, knowing, understanding, and expressing their true self in the world. The practice is designed to reveal the true expression that exists underneath all of the distortions that have been accumulated throughout life and history.

Delusions, illusions, distortions, or impurities of the mind and consciousness (vritti) make it so that the lens through which we peer out into the world and at ourselves (and therefore interact with, and create within, our Reality), is shrouded in falsehoods.

Lesson 3 of our Yoga Sutras does not simply remind us that we cannot see our true face/self if the mirror of our mind is distorted; it goes a bit further in this to also help us to recognize that if we can manage to do the work that is required to correct this distortion within ourselves, we can even drop the mirror all together, and simply shine our true face out into the world as we live as the fully enlightened beings that we really are.

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